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mortagen

Free internet... what's stopping me or you other than morals?

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<<rant>>

You basically ignored all my points and attempt to avoid them. I'll summarise for you..

 

* Your security quotes were out of the user manuals, mine were out of the install guides. There is a VERY good chance that non-computer literate people will not get to the user manual, and for the gazillionth time, they will tend to stop once the thing is working. Why? Because they don't understand how it works so they don't want to tinker with it when it does.

* Next, people don't get me to install their wifi because they know the ramifications of not having security, they get me (and obviously pay tantryl) because THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE! So no, having someone more knowledgeable set it up does not mean the person understands the ramifications of no security.

* In my albeit limited experience, it is very possible, in fact I would say highly likely, that non-computer literate folks can setup a wireless router or modem with security disabled, and they do this because they do not understand the ramifications of their actions. It is not their intention, or a deliberate act in any way.

 

You don't believe any of it, I've provided examples and others have stated they have seen many more examples in real life. You don't want to accept this, that's fine, you're not required to.

Edited by Mac Dude

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Note: I feel sorry for all the intellectually challenged people who are often the computer illiterate people of the world. They often do not consider "the process of employing the common sense to secure something valuable". Some of those poor bastards keep me employed :)

 

Firstly:

To quote you directly "leaving something valuable deliberately unlocked and available will more than likely result in it being taken advantage of", in that case you are stating that every time you connect to an unsecured wifi connection you are happy to be possibly "taking advantage" of the host if they are silly enough to give you the opportunity to do so.

Please don't twist my words. I don't connect to unsecured wifi networks nor do I take advantage of people in the negative sense you are trying to imply.

Secondly:

You stated that people leaving their front door closed yet unlocked is the "equivalent to a wifi connection with a password of password...implies that at least the owners wanted to keep some people out". Here is why I don't accept that: People generally know how to open doors by the handle, whether they are building construction illiterate or not it is part of our common way of life (most westerners anyway). Ask you grand Ma to open a door and you will see what I mean. On the other hand, what percentage of the population do you think might even attempt a password of "password" or try cracking encryption to find it was simply "password"? (Now now, stay focussed here, I would like a decent response from you after this.) Therefore, I argue that an unsecured wifi connection is much more like an open front door. Double-clicking to connect is about as commonly known as opening a door by the handle. putting a password or "password" is like the door being shut and crappy little hand locked latch is keeping the screen door closed even though it can be reached from the outside by poking a hole in the fly screen.

The point is, having attempted to secure connection is very, very different from not even attempting to secure a connection. People are stupid, and do use stupid passwords for their email. It is why, to the frustration of many users, there is form validation to tell them that their passwords are to weak.

 

Anyway

 

You are asserting that because everyone knows how to use a door and a lock, regardless of the workings(a point I myself made earlier) and for this reason that an open wifi connection is like an unlocked door. Which is the same thing Fuzz said, and I already gave my reasons as to why I don't consider it a fair analogy. I consider a tresspassing sign to be a more apt analogy, which I elaborated on previously.

 

I would like to point out however, that comparing the password "password" to a handlocked latch is correct from a security strength perspective, but not from the usability perspective which you were trying to imply.

 

Lastly:

I must say, people that do connect to unsuspecting (and yes, irresponsible) hosts are in effect causing the host to learn the hard way when their 2GB/month limit is reached in the 1st week. But even the positive in that is outweighed by the negative as people in that situation often do not learn. They give in. They may stop using the internet / router at all, blame Telstra for telling them 1GB is enough for "surfing the net" (chances are they didn't shop around, they always choose bloody Helstra, lol) and avoid technology even more. Although I personally think some of these people should never actually be allowed to run a or be in charge of a computer / internet connection (they turn too many IT support people insane) it probably hurts the industry. However, if security was set as a default (by law?) on these devices from the get go, yes, there would be less convenience but also less idiots getting taken advantage of. People would have to actually choose to leave their "door" wide open.

Also, even if there is an opportunity to take advantage of people in situations like this, I happily pay for 3G on my phone (to use through my laptop) and ADSL 2+ at home. I generally have no need to take advantage of people out there, but I have in the past chosen not to only because of my set of morals which seem to be in line with many others reading this thread. Each to their own, I can guarantee I do other things that you might actually find morally objectionable.

 

P.S. Sorry if my last post (a page back or two) implied you are an "asshole". I like these forums, didn't mean to offend.

 

Cheers,

DJ.

I have to say, when I have been discussing this thread, I have not given much thought to limits. If anything, that is far, far more incentive to make sure your connection is secure. I have also elaboarted on why I consider leaving security disabled, or in some cases disabling security explicitly to be deliberate. I'm happy if you want to join in the thread, but at least read through it properly. I don't want to be having the same arguments repeatedly.

 

A lot of people in this thread seem to be on a moral high horse. I would bet that a lot of these people, if they were in a situation where they needed to use the internet, and had access to an openwifi network to check maps or such without knowing who it belonged to, would more than likely do so. They would justify it to themselves any number of ways. On the other hand, many people would not be so quick to enter an empty unlocked house to grab a drink if they were dehydrated.

 

That is the problem with your arguments thus far. Try and see how it's possible and you might have some chance of understanding the opposing side of the argument.

 

BTW - I plan to test every door in my area. If one is unlocked then I will take that as an invitation to come inside, have a shower, sit in front of their heater or run the air conditioner depending on my mood, lounge around in their clothes (I won't take them though, that would be stealing which is wrong IMHO) and probably eat some of their food although I believe food may be a grey area.

 

While I am there I may also have a look through their photo albums, diaries, letters hell why not even through their underwear drawers - I am just looking so that should be ok.

 

If their car is unlocked and they are not using it, I may take it to go run some errands - so long as it's back before they need it though I haven't inconvenienced anyone albeit they may need to top up some petrol.

 

By your understanding this would all be ok considering that they didn't lock their door and I am not actually depriving them of anything.

Your post might have had a some semblance of credibility if you had bothered to read through my posts, and take note of the fact that I have stated several times that I consider a locked door analogy to be incorrect, and that I would not do what you or others have suggested.

 

 

In an ideal world, those of us in IT would probably agree we'd enjoy a world where users were security savvy :-) Or IT-savvy, as it were. I think most people here here would allow for the ideal that users are and should be responsible for their own devices, including the appropriate use and configuration. The reality, though, is that there are people out there who do what we would interpret as silly things (asking where the any key is, left clicking instead of right clicking, and yes, even plugging in an unsecured wireless device) that oftentimes makes us laugh, makes us groan, or just leaves us frustrated.

You've read through the thread, and are presumuably fairly unbiased. For the reasons I stated throughout the thread, what excuse is there for users not to be aware of the risks when there are warnings and advice from all angles?

 

I think that the notion of "implied consent" is based on faulty logic. On the surface, taking a specific set of behaviours with a known boundary and extrapolating conclusions beyond the boundary seems, on many levels, to be quite logical. It can also be an example of just one of the ways our brains act like complete dicks to us every day :-) Look at this brain. What an arsehole.

 

I don't think it's necessarily possible to accurately predict or extrapolate another person's intent based on a limited set of current criteria, given that one would necessarily be excluding (through lack of access to) criteria that contribute to the overall situation. One would then be making an uninformed assessment of the situation.

The notion of implied consent is based on fine logic. The only problem is with the underlying morals. I take the view that if someone has left their connection open, then this was deliberate. There are of course exceptions. For the most part however, for the reasons I have listed, I see the act of leaving a wifi connection open as deliberate for all but a few case scenarios.

 

<<rant>>

You basically ignored all my points and attempt to avoid them. I'll summarise for you..

 

* Your security quotes were out of the user manuals, mine were out of the install guides. There is a VERY good chance that non-computer literate people will not get to the user manual, and for the gazillionth time, they will tend to stop once the thing is working. Why? Because they don't understand how it works so they don't want to tinker with it when it does.

* Next, people don't get me to install their wifi because they know the ramifications of not having security, they get me (and obviously pay tantryl) because THEY DON'T HAVE A CLUE! So no, having someone more knowledgeable set it up does not mean the person understands the ramifications of no security.

* In my albeit limited experience, it is very possible, in fact I would say highly likely, that non-computer literate folks can setup a wireless router or modem with security disabled, and they do this because they do not understand the ramifications of their actions. It is not their intention, or a deliberate act in any way.

 

You don't believe any of it, I've provided examples and others have stated they have seen many more examples in real life. You don't want to accept this, that's fine, you're not required to.

 

Lol...

 

You actually ignored my posts, but hey.

 

Yes, my security quotes were out of the manuals. The manuals that presumably ship with the devices in the boxes. In the case of the Netgear, wireless security was also part of the quick setup process(which you denied), as illustrated in the pdf file I linked to. The Linksys may not have had wireless security as part of the quick setup guide, but it would have been very, very hard to miss, unless you were utterly incompetent.

 

They get you or anyone qualified to set it up for them so they don't have to know about the ramifications. My point was that if they don't understand, then they will get someone who does understand. So what's the problem there? It becomes an issue of the person who does understand doing a crappy job by either not setting up security, or advising them correctly. In the event that they decide to setup the devices themselves, then it is hard to miss setting up security, for the reasons I have repeatedly outlined to you, and which you repeatedly ignore.

 

So to summarize:

 

User with no knowledge pays someone who does have knowledge - this is the same result as having knowledge in the first place

 

OR

 

User decides to setup the device themselves, following a guide or manual, which the sections on security would have to be deliberately ignored.

 

 

Guys, I am going to bed, as it is 3am here. I will give lengthier, and hopefully better supporting arguments in about 7 hours. Goodnight.

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I would bet that a lot of these people, if they were in a situation where they needed to use the internet, and had access to an openwifi network to check maps or such without knowing who it belonged to, would more than likely do so. They would justify it to themselves any number of ways. On the other hand, many people would not be so quick to enter an empty unlocked house to grab a drink if they were dehydrated.

This I actually am going to agree with you on. I think we are starting to talk the same language. I think more "Non criminal" people would probably be more likely to be comfortable quickly using someone else's wifi connection in a rushed need, than to enter someone's house when the door is open. I'm sure a lot of us have cringed while watching a typical tv show on prime time and a scene shows someone go to a house and notice the door is open (without signs of forced entry), then walk in / have a poke around. It is like the difference between someone illegal downloading music as opposed to walking in to a Store and stashing a whole lot of CDs in a bag and running for it. I think it comes down to one being much easier to do and get away with (no security cameras, or in the open door house scenario: no neighbors watching you no guard dog etc). Even though it might be easier / less risky / more popular for people to connect to an unsecured network it doesn't mean it is any better. stealing $4 of bandwidth may cost the same to the host as taking 4 cans of coke from their fridge.

 

But, I am happy you brought it up because id makes me ask: Are any of us thinking about the situation where irresponsible / computer illiterate, unsecured hosts are being connected to by computer illiterate, irresponsible users simply clicking on the "wifi thingy on the task bar" and getting the intermanet. It takes common sense to atleast think "absolutely free internet? is this too good to be true?". The same computer illiterate people I am saying should not be hosting these networks (if they do not want to understand them) are most probably also mindlessly connecting to "Free internet" and bragging about it. Now there is a sticky situation, these computer illiterate people are on both sides of the problem. To me this means Unsecured wifi set as default option on products that are sold to people who cry when they see technical jargon in a manual = a large number of Computer illiterate people ripping off computer illiterate people. This makes be rofl. Imagine the court cases lol (I work for an IT department in a law firm). John Smith leaves his network unsecured by technical incompetence and Jim Jones connected to it without realising what was going on. ahahh, the lawyers win, fees either way :) The IT industry is not the only industry thriving due to the vast abundance of these computer illiterate people.

 

I would be more than happy to say "unsecured = generous invitation / please use" if by default every device was set to be secured and had to be manually over-ridden to be unsecured.

 

I think in that situation we would be arguing the exact same point and be on "the same side".

 

In related news: notice how I mentioned "Technical incompetence" above? Well isn't it funny how many "computer illiterate" people would most probably find it much quicker and easier to learn to drive a car than to program the time on their VCR (let alone set timed recordings). We need a license to drive a car, this keeps uncoordinated dumb asses off the road (unless they are rich). There is nothing keeping idiots from using computers, they all seem to have a license to F*ck sh*t up, but, my way of taking advantage of this situation is to be paid by the fact they need to call on us "geeky" people so often until the world becomes more computer literate. And as long as the devices still come out with no security encryption by default I'll let the uneducated folk rip each other off as much as they like. It is quite amusing to watch from the sideline though.

 

I will give lengthier, and hopefully better supporting arguments in about 7 hours. Goodnight.

Sweet :) someone who likes to post big ass posts like me! Sorry to all of those people just joining this thread that have to read through 6 odd pages of big posts.

 

I am enjoying this discussion, and I think the fact that it is getting so much attention is a good thing as, if anything, it might promote security of your wifi network if you have not done so already (I guess most Atomicans would have, for good reason).

 

Guys, I am going to bed, as it is 3am here.

Sleep well dude, I can see you are passionate about this, hope we didn't keep you up till 3. :o chat to you soon. :)

 

DJ.

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If you want to continue being naive and condoning willful ignorance and stupidity as an excuse then by all means. Or you could listen to what I said, and actually bother to give an intelligent response to the points I made in my reply.

What's that in the distance? I think it's a man. Made of straw.

 

Thanks for the advice. I'm lucky I have you to give me some real perspective on networking and user stupidity.

 

Please forgive me for the lack of any intelligence or thought put into any of the five responses I posted to your comments, compared to your succinct and logical posts. I tend to post without thinking sometimes so just pay no attention.

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I'd also like to get peoples opinions on something.

 

If someone posts images in their /images directory on their website, images that are not linked to and they they wanted to share with only a few people, is this ok to browse that directory and look at the images? Without knowing the person wanted them to be kept private, that there was no robots.txt file and that being on a public website, you may have thought you were welcome to browse. Is this ok?

 

If you want to continue being naive and condoning willful ignorance and stupidity as an excuse then by all means. Or you could listen to what I said, and actually bother to give an intelligent response to the points I made in my reply.

What's that in the distance? I think it's a man. Made of straw.

 

Thanks for the advice. I'm lucky I have you to give me some real perspective on networking and user stupidity.

 

 

Really? Wheres the strawman? My last reply to you while you were still being civil, listed a series of points as to why I believed it was not possible for a person who was setting up the device themselves to not be aware of the security risks. You could have addressed these points, instead of pretending they don't exist and acting frustrated.

Edited by TheSecret

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I'd also like to get peoples opinions on something.

 

If someone posts images in their /images directory on their website, images that are not linked to and they they wanted to share with only a few people, is this ok to browse that directory and look at the images? Without knowing the person wanted them to be kept private, that there was no robots.txt file and that being on a public website, you may have thought you were welcome to browse. Is this ok?

like this? http://geocline.net/miscimages/

 

who cares? If they wanted to protect that directory they just need to use index protection.

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who cares? If they wanted to protect that directory they just need to use index protection.

who cares? If they wanted to protect their connection they just needed to enable security.

 

Hmmm.

 

 

I'm going to paste my thoughts on this once and for all. I won't really continuing arguing it unless new points are made, or to elaborate on an issue. Since this is mainly a moral issue than a technical one, there is unfortunately no correct answer. As it is, people seem to want to compare connecting to open/unsecured wifi network with entering a house with a closed but unlocked door. This is not just wrong, but stupid. There are many aspects to security, and while a locked door analogy may be the most obvious, it is far from the most correct.

 

Furthermore, you must lock and unlocked a door each time you leave. You only have to enable security once on your router or modem device, and the rest will be automatic. An unlocked house will not yell out for you to join and tell you how to do so, and will not give you a nametag and a key for ringing the doorbell. People lock their doors to prevent people from breaking in who do not care about the laws. It is still wrong and illegal simply invite yourself into someones home without permission. On the other hand, an open wifi network is not simply an unlocked door. It is an unlocked door with a loudspeaker announcing "Please come in".

 

As I stated previously, a more accurate analogy would be that an unsecured network is equivalent to a lawn lacking a no trespassing sign, i.e. trespassing will not usually be able to be prosecuted, as opposed to a secured connection, which is equivalent to having a no tresspassing sign, where trespassing can be prosecuted. The lack of a no trespassing sign is not an invitation to go into someones house, but it is fine to go and ring their doorbell, and maybe have a chat with the owner to see if you get invited inside for a chat.

 

There has been much talk about the responsibility placed on people's responsibility and accountability for setting up a wireless network connecting and leaving it unsecured. I see this as a non issue. If people do not want to setup the device themselves, then the ISP will come and do it, or they will pay a hopefully qualified technician to do it. At the least they should have a friend who will hopefully know what they are doing to set it up. The weight is then on the individual setting it up to either setup security correctly, or advise their customer of then ramifications. There are of course instances of incompetent technicians, and for this the individual is truly not at fault. The other scenario is that the owner of the connection will attempt to set up the connection themselves.

 

In this case, the user *is* responsible, because failing to setup security would have been a conscious choice. Mac Dude gave 3 examples of routers, which despite his claims, each strongly recommends security, and in one case included it as part of the quick setup procedure. Considering that manuals normally ship with the devices, and would have to be read in order to gain access to the device, it would be hard to think of a reason a user could have missed the advice on security. Not to mention the point that Windows will warn you off the risks of connecting to an unsecured wifi connection when connecting. Not to mention your ISP will advise you to enable security if you have a wireless connection. Not to mention any number of guides online will warn you about security. The only exception to this is someone who does not use the internet very often, and still has a router from 2002 or something.

 

I have made these points repeatedly, and no one has yet been able to provide a decent counter argument. The closest was to try and deny that the 3 routers provided as examples did not make it easy to setup security. Even if this was true, it does not negate the remaining points. I would really like for somebody to point out how it is possible for users to setup their own device and completely miss the security advice that is designed to attract their attention.

 

This is not 2003 anymore people.

 

Lastly, what this discussion boils down to, is whether or not an unsecured wifi connection is an invitation. My view is yes, it is. A router or modem is a dumb device, in the sense that it only performs simple duties in the way it is configured. By default, these devices will broadcast their presence to any computer willing to listen, and accept an invitation to join the network and hand out an IP to anyone who asks. I don't expect most people to the details of this. I do expect most people to understand that people will be able to connect unless they take action to stop this, as is their responsibility. You don't need to be a locksmith to use a lock, just as you don't have to be a computer technician to tick the little box that says enable security that the bold lettering in the manual advised you to do. Because I believe there is very little reason for users to be ignorant of the ramifications of leaving a wifi connection open, then it follows that it was a conscious decision. Thus, an open wifi connection is an implicit invitation to use their network

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In this case, the user *is* responsible, because failing to setup security would have been a conscious choice. Mac Dude gave 3 examples of routers, which despite his claims, each strongly recommends security, and in one case included it as part of the quick setup procedure.

If your going to quote me, please don't lie or deliberately mislead people.

 

I provided an example that show there ARE quick setup guides that don't mention wifi security AT ALL.

 

I also provided examples where the quick setup guides stepped you through setting up an unsecured wifi, then linked you to a web page once the unsecured wifi was already setup. There was also NO indication of the ramifications of not setting up security.

 

You believe that non-computer literate users should read the reference guide cover to cover, well in reality, as has been pointed out by people who deal with these sorts of folks as a part of their job, this does not happen.

 

I challenge you to provide any facts that refute any of the above 3 points.

Edited by Mac Dude

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Lastly, what this discussion boils down to, is whether or not an unsecured wifi connection is an invitation. My view is yes, it is.

Then the locked door analogy applies. You are still using someone else's service which they pay for with the justification being "they should know better and they should secure their network".

 

If you don't like the locked door analogy because it invalidates your argument completely, perhaps you might be able to tell me how you feel about hooking up a hose to the tap in your neighbours front yard and use it to wash your car. How would your neighbour feel about it? Should it be their responsibility to lock their taps too?

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You've read through the thread, and are presumuably fairly unbiased. For the reasons I stated throughout the thread, what excuse is there for users not to be aware of the risks when there are warnings and advice from all angles?

This is where I suspect your good self and I differ in our approach to this topic. I see the point you've raised here as a subset of a larger issue; namely, the logic process. I apologise if I've misread you, but by you again honing in on this point indicates to me that you're more focussed on this rather than the larger issue. Which is cool, it's an interesting discussion, but it's not really my point in the thread.

 

However, you did ask, and nicely, so I'm happy to answer :-) You have asked what excuse I think users might have? Well, first of all, I do agree with your use of the word 'excuse' :-) And secondly, advanced users, Atomicans and even casual users could, I'm sure, be quite capable of taking in all the information when setting up a wireless connection and be able to set it up properly (including taking the appropriate security measures). I am absolutely unconvinced that sporadic or nervous users could do it properly, however. Over the years, I have been exposed to a vast array of users across varying competency levels, and I know many types of computing users simply couldn't understand how to enable it.

 

If it were enabled by default, then they may fluke it on by not touching anything, but that's it. However, I simply do not have enough faith in manufacturers to say that I think all devices ship with security enabled. And in such cases, when such a device meets with a nervous or (it has to be said) incompetent user, I do not trust they have the knowledge, skills or context to turn it on. Despite the warnings, despite what the manuals say, despite what people lecture them... if a user lacks the specific technical context to make sense of the information, then no amount of environmental interference will be able to override that.

 

I look at the realistic skillset of the users, rather than what I think idealistically they "should" be able to do. And the reality that I have seen, working in IT over the years, is that our weak link in this scenario is, as always, the user.

 

Long story short, I'm afraid I'm with segger, Mac Dude and co on this one. In an ideal world, sure, we can afford to be hardarses and say there's no excuse. I agree with that. Realistically, though, the biggest enemy is not even ignorance or lack of knowledge (which you have quite rightly pointed out can be rectified with the appropriate application of knowledge) - it's lack of technical context. And many users simply don't have that.

 

The notion of implied consent is based on fine logic. The only problem is with the underlying morals. I take the view that if someone has left their connection open, then this was deliberate. There are of course exceptions. For the most part however, for the reasons I have listed, I see the act of leaving a wifi connection open as deliberate for all but a few case scenarios.

Again, I think this is simply where you and I differ :-) I think that implied consent is based on faulty logic because it necessarily excludes information from your decision making process. We all make decisions, every day, without being 100% informed on all aspects, and we as a society have learned to deal with that: educated guess, guesstimate, assumptions, these are all examples of phrases we've come up with to indicate we're not taking into account a full story when we make a decision or judgement :-)

 

In this specific instance, we're all looking at certain information that contains a number of gaps, or unknown elements. By applying the process of implied consent to these gaps, you're coming up with your own certain criteria that predict a certain outcome. However, the reason I think such a logic leap can be (not 'is', but 'can be') faulty in this instance is it doesn't seem to take into account all possibilities for the unknown elements. It also gives you a false sense of security in your own assumptions, which makes them seem more concrete and in turn, further reinforces their 'logicality' in your mind. It's kinda like a self-fulfilling prophecy :-)

 

So that's why I earlier said the specifics of this discussion are not why I'm here - to my mind, your argument seems to be broken at its very foundation, and the weakening in the subsequent sub-discussions are just symptoms of that. And I've outlined the reasons for why I don't necessarily think [stuff] can be labelled as 'deliberate' in my response above, so I won't bore you by going over it again. Agree to disagree? :-)

 

edit: tags

Edited by elvenwhore

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If your going to quote me, please don't lie or deliberately mislead people.

I'm not.

 

I provided an example that show there ARE quick setup guides that don't mention wifi security AT ALL.

I did not say that security was present in the quick setup guide you linked to, rather that it was present in the quick setup program. The pdf I linked to for the wgt624 has a screenshot of this, so I am curious to see if you will continue to deny it.

 

I also provided examples where the quick setup guides stepped you through setting up an unsecured wifi, then linked you to a web page once the unsecured wifi was already setup. There was also NO indication of the ramifications of not setting up security.

Those examples contradict with what is stated in the manual I provided you a link to.

 

You believe that non-computer literate users should read the reference guide cover to cover, well in reality, as has been pointed out by people who deal with these sorts of folks as a part of their job, this does not happen.

Are you deliberately misrepresenting what I said? I made no link to or mention or a reference guide, but to the manuals for the devices you listed. You may not like it, but manuals trump your quick install guides, since they come with the device, and would be a users first point of reference on attempting to setup the device themselves. I downloaded the quick install guide you linked to, and it is mainly just a picture showing how to physically connect the device, not how to configure it. Considering that the manual states security is part of the quick setup procedure, and this is not contradicted by the quick install guide only showing the first screen of what is presumably the quick setup procedure, then the evidence points to the fact that security IS part of the quick setup.

 

You still have not addressed the other points I made, aside from the issue of whether or not security is part of the quick setup for a user.

 

Your use of reference guide is deliberately misleading, trying to imply it is something more difficult than an easy to understand guide to the device.

 

This is particularly important for your example of the WAG160N, where there is a whole chapter in a very simple and easy to understand language, which is before the install instructions, also in very simple to understand language. If you think most people could not follow these simple instructions, then you must have a greater contempt for people than I.

 

I challenge you to provide any facts that refute any of the above 3 points.

Your facts were not facts, so there is nothing to challenge.

 

 

Then the locked door analogy applies. You are still using someone else's service which they pay for with the justification being "they should know better and they should secure their network".

You ignored all of my post to focus in to try and prove that the locked door analogy is valid? Did you miss the first paragraph?

 

My point is not that "they should know better", but rather that "they did know better and chose to leave it open".

 

If you don't like the locked door analogy because it invalidates your argument completely, perhaps you might be able to tell me how you feel about hooking up a hose to the tap in your neighbours front yard and use it to wash your car. How would your neighbor feel about it? Should it be their responsibility to lock their taps too?

The locked door analogy does not invalidate my argument, I just think it is incorrect. If you are sure it is correct, then you can respond to the points I made as to why I consider it to be incorrect.

 

The tap analogy does not really work, since everybody has a tap. If everybody has a tap, there is no need to connect to someone else s tap. Not to mention you only use your tap when you are at your own home. This is like asking if you would steal someone elses internet connection when you had your own equivalent line available. Which comes back to the original discussion. Well, thanks for the circle jerk..... I guess.

Edited by TheSecret

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You know what would be really interesting?

If the only people to post on this thread from here on in were people who actually mostly agree with TheSecret's views so far on this topic (and back these views up logically of course). Surely there is someone out there that has read the posts in this thread from TheSecret who decided they totally agree and are "on his side", and are not posting to rebut (not me anyway).

 

If we held to this (as it seems arguing is futile anyway) we would now either get a multitude of uncontested posts arguing points similar to TheSecret's point of view but in various ways from different people, OR, there would be 0 more posts here and this thread would die, faiding in to the depts of the Atomic archives along with TheSecret's lonely point of view.

 

All in favour say... actually... say nothing I guess.

 

DJ.

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A quick question for TheSecret: Do you work in an IT support role at all? I will be honest, if you have already answered this question please ignore, I haven't read the entire thread as it seems to be going round and round in circles.

 

Reason I ask. Anyone who works in an IT support role will tell you the public is stupid, they don't read manuals, and the second something is working, that is good enough for them (until it isn't of course, and then its your fault)

 

Now ignorance doesn't negate responsability, but the OP asked if there anything stopping us savvy people connecting to unprotected wireless networks except morals. Clearly the general consensus is that, no nothing is stopping us except morals

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Then the locked door analogy applies. You are still using someone else's service which they pay for with the justification being "they should know better and they should secure their network".

You ignored all of my post to focus in to try and prove that the locked door analogy is valid? Did you miss the first paragraph?

 

What would you like me to focus on exactly? You stated the nuts and bolts of your case so I chose to not reference the rest of the turd that made up your argument and focussed on the only point in this discussion.

 

You are using someone else's broadband without their consent. Your argument thus far that because they haven't secured it is in itself consent. This is wrong. Nothing you have stated proves otherwise.

 

My point is not that "they should know better", but rather that "they did know better and chose to leave it open".

I know what your point is. See above.

 

The locked door analogy does not invalidate my argument, I just think it is incorrect. If you are sure it is correct, then you can respond to the points I made as to why I consider it to be incorrect

It's pretty simple. You are taking something without asking permission. You believe that unlocked = permission. Security, be it a house or a network constitutes the same thing in that lack of security does not imply invitation to steal. It does invalidate your argument.

 

The tap analogy does not really work, since everybody has a tap. If everybody has a tap, there is no need to connect to someone else s tap. Not to mention you only use your tap when you are at your own home. This is like asking if you would steal someone elses internet connection when you had your own equivalent line available. Which comes back to the original discussion. Well, thanks for the circle jerk..... I guess.

It does work - it's a pity you can't understand why. Would you, if you were not at your house but say for the sake of the argument interstate, pull up in front of a random person's house and use their water and hose to wash your car? Simple enough for you?

 

As for the circle jerk reference - I could either respond Pot Kettle or grow up. Pick whichever you feel best suits you.

Edited by The Tick

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This is where I suspect your good self and I differ in our approach to this topic. I see the point you've raised here as a subset of a larger issue; namely, the logic process. I apologise if I've misread you, but by you again honing in on this point indicates to me that you're more focussed on this rather than the larger issue. Which is cool, it's an interesting discussion, but it's not really my point in the thread.

 

However, you did ask, and nicely, so I'm happy to answer :-) You have asked what excuse I think users might have? Well, first of all, I do agree with your use of the word 'excuse' :-) And secondly, advanced users, Atomicans and even casual users could, I'm sure, be quite capable of taking in all the information when setting up a wireless connection and be able to set it up properly (including taking the appropriate security measures). I am absolutely unconvinced that sporadic or nervous users could do it properly, however. Over the years, I have been exposed to a vast array of users across varying competency levels, and I know many types of computing users simply couldn't understand how to enable it.

 

If it were enabled by default, then they may fluke it on by not touching anything, but that's it. However, I simply do not have enough faith in manufacturers to say that I think all devices ship with security enabled. And in such cases, when such a device meets with a nervous or (it has to be said) incompetent user, I do not trust they have the knowledge, skills or context to turn it on. Despite the warnings, despite what the manuals say, despite what people lecture them... if a user lacks the specific technical context to make sense of the information, then no amount of environmental interference will be able to override that.

 

I look at the realistic skillset of the users, rather than what I think idealistically they "should" be able to do. And the reality that I have seen, working in IT over the years, is that our weak link in this scenario is, as always, the user.

 

Long story short, I'm afraid I'm with segger, Mac Dude and co on this one. In an ideal world, sure, we can afford to be hardarses and say there's no excuse. I agree with that. Realistically, though, the biggest enemy is not even ignorance or lack of knowledge (which you have quite rightly pointed out can be rectified with the appropriate application of knowledge) - it's lack of technical context. And many users simply don't have that.

First, sorry for the delay in replying. I missed your reply when replying to Mac Dude.

 

To be fair, yes, I am looking at this logically more than morally. However, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

 

This is what it seems to come down to, at least with yours, segger's and Mac Dudes point of views as I understand them. Which is maintaining that security is too hard for sporadic or nervous users simply couldn't understand how to enable security. With this, I have to respectfully disagree. I have provided examples of why I consider this to be false. Not least of which, is that company know that users will have trouble with this, and make a big effort to make it simple for the user to understand. In the case of the netgear router Mac Dude provided, you simply have to tick a box to enable security. This is shown and described in the manual I linked to.

 

 

Again, I think this is simply where you and I differ :-) I think that implied consent is based on faulty logic because it necessarily excludes information from your decision making process. We all make decisions, every day, without being 100% informed on all aspects, and we as a society have learned to deal with that: educated guess, guesstimate, assumptions, these are all examples of phrases we've come up with to indicate we're not taking into account a full story when we make a decision or judgement :-)

 

In this specific instance, we're all looking at certain information that contains a number of gaps, or unknown elements. By applying the process of implied consent to these gaps, you're coming up with your own certain criteria that predict a certain outcome. However, the reason I think such a logic leap can be (not 'is', but 'can be') faulty in this instance is it doesn't seem to take into account all possibilities for the unknown elements. It also gives you a false sense of security in your own assumptions, which makes them seem more concrete and in turn, further reinforces their 'logicality' in your mind. It's kinda like a self-fulfilling prophecy :-)

 

So that's why I earlier said the specifics of this discussion are not why I'm here - to my mind, your argument seems to be broken at its very foundation, and the weakening in the subsequent sub-discussions are just symptoms of that. And I've outlined the reasons for why I don't necessarily think [stuff] can be labelled as 'deliberate' in my response above, so I won't bore you by going over it again. Agree to disagree? :-)

First, many thanks for your reply. It is one of the nicest in this thread.

 

Indeed, this is where we do differ. While I admit there are many exceptions to the idea of implied consent, my reasoing relies on my previous point, which I don't believe to be false. I am all to aware of the unknown elements or variables, and in my mind this is addressed by the idea of exceptions. My reasoning can only be applied to specific cases, however I consider those cases to be exemplary of the majority.

 

Since we disagree on a fundamental point, which is whether users can be held responsible for failing to set up security, and more importanlty the significance of that point, I guess we have no choice but to agree to disagree.

 

 

A quick question for TheSecret: Do you work in an IT support role at all? I will be honest, if you have already answered this question please ignore, I haven't read the entire thread as it seems to be going round and round in circles.

 

Reason I ask. Anyone who works in an IT support role will tell you the public is stupid, they don't read manuals, and the second something is working, that is good enough for them (until it isn't of course, and then its your fault)

 

Now ignorance doesn't negate responsability, but the OP asked if there anything stopping us savvy people connecting to unprotected wireless networks except morals. Clearly the general consensus is that, no nothing is stopping us except morals

I have worked for roughly the last 10 years as a freelance consultant, mainly doing security work, but also a large percentage of repair and setup. I know just how stupid users, and people can be. The reason I am maintaining my stance, is because companies know this. The manuals I linked to for the routers Mac Dude gave as examples are an example of how easy the process is. The Linksys has a huge chapter which is before the actual chapter on installation on wireless security. This uses bullet points with simple to understand language. The netgear router requires you to choose between having security enabled, or disabled, with a strong recommendation to enable security. I don't think it is possible to connect to the device without reading the manual for a lot of the cases. There really is little excuse.

 

 

What would you like me to focus on exactly? You stated the nuts and bolts of your case so I chose to not reference the rest of the turd that made up your argument and focussed on the only point in this discussion.

LOL. You could focus on the points I made regarding the fact that users are warned and advised at every turn to enable security. Or you could explain why my reasoning of why I consider the locked door analogy to be false is incorrect.

 

Instead, you choose to ignore the reply I made, and plug your ears while singing that I'm wrong.

 

You are using someone else's broadband without their consent. Your argument thus far that because they haven't secured it is in itself consent. This is wrong. Nothing you have stated proves otherwise.

Except for the points I made regarding that I consider it to be all but impossible to fail to understand that you are on an unsecured network, or that security is necessary.

 

I know what your point is. See above

If this is true, then why did you completely misconstrue my point?

 

It's pretty simple. You are taking something without asking permission. You believe that unlocked = permission. Security, be it a house or a network constitutes the same thing in that lack of security does not imply invitation to steal. It does invalidate your argument.

You have overly simplified my argument. It is not as simple as you would like to believe. Apart from the fact that the use of the word stealing is questionable, your point above still relies on the locked door analogy, which I have refuted above. When you can provide a response to those points on why I consider it to be wrong, we can discuss this.

 

It does work - it's a pity you can't understand why. Would you, if you were not at your house but say for the sake of the argument interstate, pull up in front of a random person's house and use their water and hose to wash your car? Simple enough for you?

You're getting closer to making your tap analogy work, but it still fails for the reasons I originally cited.

 

However, since you wish to continue to ignore my arguments, and simplify those which you choose to address, I won't be responding to you until you can be bothered to read, and respond to my points. I really don't feel like repeating the same discussions that have already taken place.

Edited by TheSecret

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You take something without permission, it's not yours, it's stealing. The rest is bullshit. As usual you are being over fed. :(

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You take something without permission, it's not yours, it's stealing. The rest is bullshit. As usual you are being over fed. :(

 

For the last year or so I have been trying to put together a sort of broadcast wifi "plan" for the watercraft in sydney harbour

it's a notorious blackspot and there is a tonne of crap bobbing around out there that could provide much better data rates to

areas to busy to notice really. The idea was sort of a experiment after a water monitoring project finished while the idea was fresh.

 

the plan was a bunch of mobile terminals (think Stargate Shield Generators was a grab I used in the meeting) that purchased

bulk 3g airtime could be plonked in and around the harbour at peak times offering 1MB of free internet (unlimited time day use only 12am-12pm)

then something like a .20c per additional meg to 5. The problem was getting the people to make the micropayment of 3$

the 2nd idea was a simple popup explain that you got 1m free once per week, and 50k all other days free forever. as a bonus one business day per

week you got 5 meg at random (making using check or get a different popup something new is good) you were given a link or emailed

so you could make the payment from a secure location and not a portable device and told that each month the first monday @ 9:15am you would be

asked if you wish to pay another $3 for 5mb per day for the month.

 

The problem was that people don't trust the internet as much when they are outside there own house and I didn't think it was worth building.

I think this sort of thing would be badass at the football or an event for $1 per day but that could promote more twitter FB madness and I don't

want to be responsible for that.

 

If I could easily partition of my unused bandwidth via rangemax wifi I would give it willingly. Australian ISPS are pricks and if I was within the last

few days on my 150g plan cap I would share it with anyone local who needed some internet! It's like when you need a ciggy and your pay comes in at

midnight but its thursday and you wanna watch lost now!

 

"You have a wireless request from XX hey man totally need to watch the daily show could I borrow like 174 mb till 3am tomoz then you can totally "have it back"

 

I get capped most months and that burns a week + almost kills, but nothing hurts more than having gigs left over!

 

Promote a freely accessible internet surely wifi = wireless devices you cannot be anywhere near as proficient eye patch and wooden leg style from any mobile device.

 

Wifi from mobile devices go crazy :P from home pc dubious...

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pantsmonkey,

 

If someone connected to an openwifi network you had setup in the last days to share your remaining quota, without your permission, would you have considered that person to be stealing?

 

You take something without permission, it's not yours, it's stealing. The rest is bullshit. As usual you are being over fed. :(

Please stop trolling in my threads or in reply to my posts when you have nothing worthwhile to add.

 

Your simpleton black and white view does not apply here, nor anywhere else in the real world.

Edited by TheSecret

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Let's see how you went refuting my claims...

 

If your going to quote me, please don't lie or deliberately mislead people.

I'm not.

 

I provided an example that show there ARE quick setup guides that don't mention wifi security AT ALL.

I did not say that security was present in the quick setup guide you linked to, rather that it was present in the quick setup program. The pdf I linked to for the wgt624 has a screenshot of this, so I am curious to see if you will continue to deny it.

 

 

First of all the user reference manual is not for the same revision of the device I was talking about, so you need to make sure we are talking about the same thing. Secondly, your link is to the reference manual, NOT the quick setup guide I talk about in the point above. So, my 'claim' that the setup guide for this device contains NO reference to wifi security stands.

I also provided examples where the quick setup guides stepped you through setting up an unsecured wifi, then linked you to a web page once the unsecured wifi was already setup. There was also NO indication of the ramifications of not setting up security.

Those examples contradict with what is stated in the manual I provided you a link to.

 

 

You aren't listening. You pull pages out of reference manuals for devices, I'm showing you what's in the quick setup guides. I've shown you guides that don't even mention wifi security in the quick setup guide, and I've shown you guides where wifi security is linked to, but not setup, at the end of the setup guide - so if you followed the instructions in the quick setup guide, you would have enabled an unsecured wifi. network. NONE of the setup guides I linked to talked about the ramifications of not setting up security, which is probably the major flaw.

You believe that non-computer literate users should read the reference guide cover to cover, well in reality, as has been pointed out by people who deal with these sorts of folks as a part of their job, this does not happen.

Are you deliberately misrepresenting what I said? I made no link to or mention or a reference guide, but to the manuals for the devices you listed. You may not like it, but manuals trump your quick install guides, since they come with the device, and would be a users first point of reference on attempting to setup the device themselves.

 

 

Trump? You totally miss the point. As I've said previously, if non-computer literate people go through the quick setup guide and their device works, why would they look at the manual at all? There is nothing in the wgt624 quick setup guide, for example, that says "now turn off the device you have just setup until you read the reference manual". There is also nothing in any of the quick setup guides that point out the ramifications of not setting up wifi security. What does this mean?

 

It means at the end of the quick setup guide there will be an enabled unsecured wifi network. Even you cannot deny that fact.

I downloaded the quick install guide you linked to, and it is mainly just a picture showing how to physically connect the device, not how to configure it. Considering that the manual states security is part of the quick setup procedure, and this is not contradicted by the quick install guide only showing the first screen of what is presumably the quick setup procedure, then the evidence points to the fact that security IS part of the quick setup.

Wrong. You say that the quick setup guide is mainly just the physical setup. Ask yourself the question. If a person follows the quick setup guide, what is the result? The answer is, an enabled, unsecured wifi network.

You still have not addressed the other points I made, aside from the issue of whether or not security is part of the quick setup for a user.

 

Your use of reference guide is deliberately misleading, trying to imply it is something more difficult than an easy to understand guide to the device.

 

This is particularly important for your example of the WAG160N, where there is a whole chapter in a very simple and easy to understand language, which is before the install instructions, also in very simple to understand language. If you think most people could not follow these simple instructions, then you must have a greater contempt for people than I.

 

I challenge you to provide any facts that refute any of the above 3 points.

Your facts were not facts, so there is nothing to challenge.

 

 

Well I've shown your last comment to be blatantly false.

 

I said, I provided an example that show there ARE quick setup guides that don't mention wifi security AT ALL.. You couldn't disprove it.

 

I said, There was also NO indication of the ramifications of not setting up security.(in the quick setup guides). You couldn't disprove it.

 

I said, You believe that non-computer literate users should read the reference guide cover to cover, well in reality, as has been pointed out by people who deal with these sorts of folks as a part of their job, this does not happen.

, and that one stands also.

 

Your tactic has been to pull pages out of user guides showing security setup steps.

 

As I have shown, quick setup guides step people through how to setup a non-secure wifi, and don't mention the ramifications . Non-computer literate people may not read user guides because of this, and most would not understand it anyway. This leaves them with an unsecured network.

 

I know your next post will rant about page X in the user manual, but as I've pointed out on numerious occasions, most non-computer literate people will stop at the end of the quick setup guide and not read the manual becaus, (a) their device now works and they don't want to tinker with it in fear of stopping it from working, and (b)the ramifications of an unsecured network aren't mention in the quick setup guides I've shown, so the risk is not explained where it should be.

 

I'll leave you to the many other good arguments others are making around this subject.

 

 

EDIT :

Your simpleton black and white view does not apply here, nor anywhere else in the real world.

 

Someone offers their opinion of the overall argument and you offer nothing back apart from a childish insult. You need to pull your head in.

Edited by Mac Dude

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However, since you wish to continue to ignore my arguments, and simplify those which you choose to address, I won't be responding to you until you can be bothered to read, and respond to my points. I really don't feel like repeating the same discussions that have already taken place.

You claim that the analogy of a locked door, tap in a person's front yard is overly simplistic. You claim to have refuted at least the locked door theory when in fact you haven't.

 

It is a simple analogy for a reason. The flaw with your entire argument is that in effect you have made an argument by over complicating your reasoning.

 

For the record, I have read over what you have posted - I have actually copied and pasted it. It makes a compelling argument to my customers who question the need of locking down wifi in relation to the sociopaths who believe it's their god given right to take what isn't theirs. It is quite fascinating to be honest.

 

You have not, at any stage refuted the locked door argument. You have dismissed it. How can anyone argue with someone who simply dismisses a point with anything resembling common sense, reason or fact?

 

You don't actually make an argument to ignore. It's your refusal to address the core issue that is in itself the undoing of your entire line of thinking.

Edited by The Tick

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pantsmonkey,

 

If someone connected to an openwifi network you had setup in the last days to share your remaining quota, without your permission, would you have considered that person to be stealing?

 

You take something without permission, it's not yours, it's stealing. The rest is bullshit. As usual you are being over fed. :(

Please stop trolling in my threads or in reply to my posts when you have nothing worthwhile to add.

 

Your simpleton black and white view does not apply here, nor anywhere else in the real world.

 

I will tell you one last thing. If you were caught stealing someone's unsecured internet connection and the owner complained to police that you stole a service he is paying for ,and that you did not have permission to use.

 

You will be charged with theft. this is the "core issue" that "The Tick" and others here are trying to get you to see.

 

Me accusing you of being a troll is correct, you come to a forum, attack the regulars, promote ideas you cannot support, and post simply to to sit back and laugh at those who try to explain that your view is incorrect. = Trollish behaviour. But hey keep going so people can see you for what you really are.

Edited by bowiee

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That would be the point the secret if there was some option to offer up for free 100 to 1000 mb that you then broadcast using your wifi router or a direction yogi should you have one setup for whatever reason.

I hate the closed on unshared nature of personal computing, sharing internet and knowing that your phone had a "hey there is actual free wifi here" sweet thats cool! Without fear of being attacking as a thief(unlikely to ever happen though)

 

 

And Bowiee messaged me at midnight last night asking if I thought it was okay to use unsecured wireless networks (I would post the message but thats illegal right?) its very tame but both bowiee and the secret seem to be missing my counter option point to "THIEVES rabble rabble rabble rabble" and "FREEDOM FOR THE SACRED INTERNETS rabble rabble rabble rabble"

 

We need to tech up the areas we mill about in, such that we can do what we feel is our human right to do, wherever we might like to do it. (that makes sense i checked)

 

Has anyone here worked at a company with a computer network that for whatever stupid reason let you access some external sites, and sometimes because we check you could get your hotmail or whatever for a day?

Most probably because you all are using the same type of internets I have been using for the last 15 years they are all the same you know! This is not the fault of the staff member who checks hotmail. In a day and age where more than half of germans would give serious consideration to ditching the spouse in favour of kissing goodbye to the internet, WE NEED IT NOW! The w's are key and our devices seek it, out the less learned among us do have a valid case for ignorance in a world that moves so fast as this. Sure anyone here knows the moral grey area of 50 percent of web use especially for Australians.

 

But I am not putting forward any specific cases of infringement! I am just saying a lawyer could spring you for facebooking on your iphone in your car outside your gf's apartment because your a noob that is just as bad as setting up a potentially risky antenna on your chimney I say potentially risky because. As a lover of the internet what if your antenna didn't get you any unsecured connections you would need a backend safety or you are a twit.

 

Flip the idea around some! Broadcast daily 500M or a Gig unsecured (how do I section of a unsecured bit boffins) and record it's use and broadcast availability) It could load up with a little splash saying. TPG proudly presents 500mb :)

 

This book I am reading The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson talks about what they do to the internet in his time. It is fucking badass! So badass that to guarantee security of internet payments complete anonymity exists online (it's part of the deal) nations crumbled as hollywood says "If the tax department could't track the internet you can't find nell, or better put it's astronomically improbable"

 

Share your internets and be less high and mighty there is naughty internet and good. Everyone is this thread has at least downloaded a cd or a ep of the biggest loser so we are all technically guilty of breaking a law that if followed through could see us hung or fined jillions or jailed and barred from computers. Seriously I will do whatever I want we all will we can either be devious about it or give it a positive spin like fucking twitter!

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Actually just went through this the other day. Had an elderly retired gentleman who was having internet problems and asked me to look at it.

His problem was he had added a wireless router to his connection and was trying to access the net through that via cat5 with the modem still in modem mode, so the usual double nat/dhcp problem. Got that fixed by bridging the modem and using the router to do the connection.

While doing this I noticed wireless was on and unsecured and asked him about it.

Wireless was for his wife's new laptop and he had no idea about wireless security and neither did his wife. As Mac Dude said the setup/user guide made no mention of it and when I tried to explain it they could not understand it as it was "all to technical". End result I had to secure it for them and set the notebook to always connect and remember the settings.

On your logic using their connection is acceptable, and I suppose when you used a few GB of their 600Mb/month plan you would feel no responsibility for the several hundred dollars of excess usage fees they would incur.

What a nice chap you are.

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The federal Cybercrime Act 2001 (CA) for example amended the Criminal Code Act 1995 by identifying computer offences that "impair the security, integrity and reliability of computer data and electronic communications". The three major computer offences are -

 

1) Unauthorised access, modification or impairment with intent to commit a serious offence (with a maximum penalty equal to the maximum penalty for that serious offence).

 

2) Unauthorised modification of data where the offender is reckless as to whether the modification will impair data (maximum penalty of 10 years in prison), covering situations such as where a hacker unintentionally impairs data in the course of unauthorised access to a computer system.

 

3) Unauthorised impairment of electronic communications (maximum penalty of 10 years in prison), including 'denial of service' attacks'.

 

The first offence centres on activity such as hacking a financial institution's database to access credit card details with the intention of using them to obtain money (ie intending to commit a fraud offence).

 

The Act includes other computer offences -

 

1 Unauthorised access to, or modification of, restricted data (maximum penalty of two years imprisonment)

 

2 Unauthorised impairment of data held on a computer storage device, including removable storage (maximum two years imprisonment)

 

3 Possession or control of data with intent to commit a computer offence (maximum penalty three years imprisonment)

 

4 Producing, supplying or obtaining data with intent to commit a computer offence (maximum penalty three years imprisonment)

 

More broadly, theft of service (unauthorised use of a consumer's wireless connection, thereby blowing out the money owed by that consumer to the ISP) would arguably be both a civil and criminal offence in Australian law ... akin to unauthorised use of the consumer's credit card or debit card.

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